Scripture: 2 Samuel 13-19
- Students will learn when people don’t follow God’s commands; their lives often become full of bad choices and consequences. .
- Students will learn pride can cause people to make poor choices.
- Students will learn pride often leads to disaster.
- Students will participate in an activity to begin understanding the difference between how man views people and how God sees them.
Guiding Question:What does God see when He looks at people?
Materials:drawing paper, pencils, markers, (optional: hand mirrors)
Procedure: Tell students the story of Absalom, focusing especially on Absalom’s physical appearance and how that affected the way Absalom and others viewed him. Ask students why they think Absalom had such long hair. Why do they think his good looks made people want to rebel against the king? Did Absalom’s looks seem to make him more humble or more proud?
Give students blank drawing paper, pencils, markers and any hand mirrors you may have. Explain to students that a self- portrait is when an artist draws a picture of himself/herself. Tell students you want them to draw a self-portrait of themselves. The skill of the artwork is not as important as the accuracy. Make sure they include things like eye color, hair length, dimples, etc. After they have spent a few minutes on their portraits (watch your time and allow enough for them to at least get a good beginning on the second portrait.), ask students to describe some of the details they put in their self- portrait.
Then give students a second sheet of blank drawing paper. Ask students how they think Absalom would have drawn his own self- portrait. What would Absalom have thought was important to include in his picture? Ask older students if God thought those things were important? (For younger students, you may have to explain to them God does not care about how we look, but what our hearts are like.) Have students give examples of things God finds “beautiful” in a person.
Have students draw a second self-portrait. In this one they can add words, items, expressions, etc. that depict what God sees and values when He looks at them. For younger children, these will all probably be positive things and you may need to help them write a few words. Older children should be encouraged to also add things on which they still need to work, like honesty or patience. (If time allows for older children, you may want to add a bit about sin, grace, fruit of the Spirit, etc.)
Encourage students to try and remember when they look at others to try and focus on their hearts like God does and not focus only on their outward appearance.
- What is the difference between pride that is positive for your life and pride that dangerous to have?
- How can we encourage others to see the true beauty in themselves as God would?
- What is one attribute that God values that you have? What is one attribute that God values that you need to work on?
- For older kids ask: How does your culture and the media view pride? What attributes does your culture or media value that God does not? Which ones does God value and the media not value?
Supplemental Activity: If you have access to technology, students can create word art or “word clouds” online using programs such as Wordle. Students can use the list of attributes and character traits that either God desires and/or traits that they have. Let them be creative with layout, colors, and choose a shape for their word art that represents them. Print these and encourage students to hang it by their mirror at home to remind them of the true forms of beauty that they should be aiming for in their lives.</